Cargo Operations

Ideal Location for Air Cargo

Cargo aircraft at O'Hare

Chicago's location is ideal for air cargo. Chicago is centrally located in the United States and is central in one of the world's largest trading areas; the east-west nexus of Europe and Asia and the north-south nexus of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The only U.S. gateway with all six major North American railroads provides easy multimodal transfer of goods. In fact, 50% of all U.S. rail freight passes through Chicago rail yards. Chicago has excellent interstate highway access and is located within a one-day truck drive of 29% of North American consumers and within a two-day ride of 42% of consumers.

U.S. Rail Freight Traffic Intensity

U.S. Rail Freight Traffic Intensity 

Cargo Facilities to Meet Your Needs

O'Hare International Airport serves as Chicago's predominant cargo airport, ranking worldwide among the top 20 busiest cargo airports in the world with approximately 1.5 million tons of imports and exports to all corners of the world.  The value of O'Hare's air cargo trade is worth approximately $115 billion. Currently there are two general cargo areas, one on the south side of the airport located adjacent to Irving Park Road and another facility on the north side of the airport adjacent to Bessie Coleman Drive. Additional satellite areas with warehouse options are available.

New cargo facilities are planned at O'Hare which will have both airside and landside access. The ramp area associated with this new cargo location is planned to accommodate up to 12 Boeing 747-800 aircraft, with hydrant fueling, aircraft nose loading capability, and direct airside tug access to the main terminal area. Over 800,000 square feet of warehouse and office space is planned.

We Have the Goods if You Have the Wings

The Chicago economy is strong, diverse, and growing. The gross regional product of Chicago exceeds $500 billion which is larger than many countries. There are more than 400 major corporate headquarters located in the Chicago area including 27 Fortune 500 headquarters – the second highest in the United States. Manufacturing, wholesale trade, transportation and warehousing are leading economic sectors for Chicago.

This brochure summarizes information on O'Hare International Airport's air cargo service and opportunities.

U.S. Manufacturing Plant and Distribution Centers

U.S. Manufacturing Plant and Distribution Centers ​